History, Politics And Current Affairs

Opinions expressed here are personal views of contributors and do not necessarily represent the companies, organizations or governments they work for. Nor do they necessarily represent those of the Board Administration.
It is currently Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:02 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 466 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 20, 21, 22, 23, 24  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
The Joke’s on you, Part 1
Date: December 29th, 1941
Location: the waters of the western Pacific, 75 nautical miles from Hashirajima
Time: 5:00 PM local time

After apparently-uneventful voyage back across the Pacific, the Kido Butai task force is nearing its home port. Aside from the six carriers, the destroyers and the fleet oilers, the two battleships Hiei & Kirshima, the two cruisers Tone & Chikuma and four destroyers (Urakaze, Isokaze, Tanikaze and Hamakaze) had been detached to aid in operations against Wake Island back on December 16th when the task force passed through those waters.

The Japanese task force is just 75 nautical miles from home; already, the crews aboard the carriers, destroyers and other ships are dreaming of shore leave and perhaps, visits to their families after the disaster that was Pearl Harbor. Originally, the fleet was supposed to ahve arrived back on december 23rd but, due to extremely adverse winds and heavy seas, its passage was delayed. Aside from the eight fighters from each carrier that provided barrier combat air patrol (BARCAP) over their home decks while the other aircraft were away, the only survivors of the 414-strong air armada that carried out the attack are 62 fighters, dive bombers and level bombers. Of these, quite a few were damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire or by fire from enemy aircraft during the raid. During the voyage home, each of the damaged aircraft was seen to by its support crew in order to repair such damage as was possible.

All this is about to change. Ever since December 7th, Kido Butai has been shadowed by Mr. Smith’s submarine ‘Nautilus’. Captain Jay Fletcher has been careful never to come closer to the Japanese ships than 20,000 yards, while always mirroring the enemy’s exact course and speed. This way, if the Japanese were able to get any kind of sonar return, they would think that it’s a false echo; this mistake is going to end up costing them dearly.

At 5:00 PM on the afternoon of December 29th, Captain Fletcher is on the Nautilus’ bridge when he says “sonar, Conn; report all contacts”. The reply comes less than 30 seconds later “Conn, sonar; the enemy fleet is Bearing Red213.75°; speed is 18 knots and range is 20,000 yards. They are maintaining their present course.”

“Sonar, conn; very good. Stand by.” Captain Fletcher now says “XO, how about we spoil the Japanese fleet’s homecoming?”

“Sounds good to me, sir. Even though Mr. Smith wanted it this way, this watching and waiting was getting to be rather monotonous.”

“Indeed.”

At last, the moment has arrived that everyone aboard the Nautilus has been waiting for. Captain Fletcher picks up his microphone and says “attention all hands; this is the Captain speaking; man battle stations torpedo. XO, set condition 1SQ for torpedo launch. Weps?”

“Aye, Captain?”

“Get the fish ready to swim; download the relevant targeting information on the six Japanese carriers from the ship’s database into the fire control computer and augment it with their range, bearing, course and speed. Report when ready.”

“Aye aye, sir.”

Five minutes later, the ship’s fire control computer has all of the necessary information ready to download into the guidance computer of each torpedo. The weapons officer gives the necessary commands and several seconds later, each weapon is ready to fire. The next orders given are “flood all tubes, open outer doors; firing order is forward tubes 1-6 in sequence.”

“Aye, sir; my boards show all tubes ready.”

“Very well, match generated bearings and.....SHOOT!!”

“Fire One...Fire Two...Fire Three...Fire Four...Fire Five...Fire Six.”

As the trigger is pulled, each supercavitating torpedo is ejected from its tube by a charge of compressed air at intervals of 15 seconds apart. Each weapon travels out to a distance of 50 yards before igniting its rocket motor and accelerating to 200 knots; at this speed, it will take each of them just three minutes to reach their target. Blissfully unawares up to this moment, the six carriers are travelling in line ahead, with the carrier Akagi being last in line. Suddenly a warning is received from one of the escorting destroyers “TORPEDOES IN THE WATER, BEARING GREEN090, RANGE 20,000 YARDS AND CLOSING.”

The warning is instantly communicated to all ships in the fleet; the carriers increase their speed to flank and begin to maneuver so as to make it as difficult as possible for them to be targeted, while the escorting destroyers move to keep themselves between the six carriers and what their captains think is a submarine from the U.S Navy. Hardly have all ships concerned begun to move when the Akagi is struck from underneath between the #3 and #4 shafts; the exact impact site is directly between the skegs, and was carefully chosen. When the torpedo hits, the warhead’s detonation (equal to three tons of TNT) causes the seals on the skegs to be blown and the #3 and #4 propellor shafts to be warped. The damaged seals cause water to start flooding into Akagi’s port engine rooms, to the consternation of the ship’s command & engineering crews. Immediately, those two shafts are disengaged so that they cease turning and further damaging themselves. On the Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku and Zuikaku, this scene is repeated at intervals of 15-20 seconds each.

The fleet is commanded by Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, who flies his flag aboard the carrier Shokaku. His officers are struggling mightily to determine where the attack came from and to formulate a proper defense. The damage to each carrier’s prpellor shafts is such that each vessel is obliged to cut its speed in half. For example, where Shokaku could travel at a top speed of 34 knots, the ship is now forced to go no more than 17 knots.

Back aboard the Nautilus, Captain Fletcher says “Good job, XO, Weps; my compliments to your people. Now, I think it’s time to exit the area; if I know anything about Admiral Nagumo and his skippers, they’re boiling for a fight right about now. Helm, come hard about; set course for Niihau Station and increase speed to flank.” The helmsman replies “come hard about, set course for Niihau Station, increase my speed to flank. aye, sir.”

Nautilus’ forward speed increases to 50 knots and very soon, she leaves the pursuing Japanese destroyers in her wake. Back aboard Shokaku, Admiral Nagumo orders his communications officer to send word to the headquarters of the Naval General Staff about what just happened. Next, the fleet’s remaining destroyers (except for two detailed as an advance guard) are ordered to form a protective screen on the flanks and to the rear.

In the meantime, message traffic between Kido Butai and Japanese Naval Headquarters is intercepted by Commander Joseph Rochefort and his band of merry men back in Hawaii at Station Hypo. The volume of the traffic is such that Cmdr Rochefort infers that something drastic must have happened. Immediately, he sets Lt. Joseph Finnegan and his staff to work on decrypting it. Their task is greatly aided by the use of SmithCorp ‘Skynet’ codebreaking computers. Within the hour, the messages are read and Rochefort is the first to grasp just what they mean. Immediately, he composes a message to the Navy Department outlining what happened and assigns it top priority for transmission.

The Joke’s on you, Part 2
Date: January 2nd, 1942
Location: Wake Island
Time: late afternoon

After Admiral Kajioka’s second landing attempt was thrown back with heavy losses, he immediately sent a message to the headquarters of the Naval General Staff in Tokyo requesting further instructions. The reply is as immediate as it is short and to the point; Wake Island must be taken. To this end, the Admiral calls a meeting of his senior staff and says “gentlemen, I have just heard back from our higher headquarters. Admiral Yamamoto himself said that Wake must fall and that all other considerations are of secondary importance. This being said, I believe that any further attempts to put troops ashore will be futile unless the capacity of those damnable Americans to resist us is eliminated. Therefore, we will proceed by forming all of our ships into a gun line and pounding the island until no brick or stone stands upon another.”

One of Admiral Kajioka’s staff officers stands up and says “sir, presently our remaining ships consist of the battleship Kirishima, the cruiser Chikuma, the light cruiser Tatsuta and six destroyers; Urakaze, Isokaze, Tanikaze, Hamakaze, Kisaragi & Hayate. This will give us a total of eight 14" guns, eight 8" guns, eight 5" guns and nineteen 4.7" guns. The biggest guns that the Americans have on the island are 6", and there are only six of them. For additional support, we can call on airbases in the Marshall Islands.”

“Very good, commander. My plan is to group Kirishima, Chikuma and Tatsuta together and blast the island flat. The other ships will be kept out of range until we can be sure that those American 6" guns have been destroyed. Afterwards, the destroyers will close in and finish off the job. We begin in three days.”

“Aye, sir.”

The meeting concludes and orders are immediately issued to Admiral Kajioka’s ships. The fleet withdraws to a distance of eleven miles and takes up position; Kirishima, Chikuma and Tatsuta in front, with the six destroyers a further three miles to the rear.

Date: January 2nd, 1942
Time: late evening

Having received permission from the Navy department to prepare his command for evacuation, Commander Cunningham calls a staff meeting and says “gentlemen, our position on Wake Island is now untenable; further resistance on our part would only serve to get us all killed. Therefore, we are going to evacuate. Major Putnam, Captain Elrod, you’ll prepare your remaining P-38 fighters by adding a pair of 150-gallon drop tanks to the inboard hardpoints on each wing. This will give your aircraft the range to reach Pearl Harbor with about 200 miles to spare. Lieutenant Kennedy, you’ll prepare your six PT boats by removing the torpedoes & racks, then using the extra weight capacity to carry more fuel.”

“Yes, sir. Dumping the torpedoes and rack will free up approximately five tons of weight. This translates to an extra 1,375 gallons of fuel, carried in 55-gallon drums lashed to the deck. My concern is that, even with the extra fuel, we won’t be able to reach Oahu.”

At this, Rick Leavitt speaks up and says “Lieutenant Kennedy, my employer Mr. Smith is already prepared for this situation. Even as we speak, ships are on their way here to evacuate everyone on Wake who isn’t one of Major Putnam’s pilots or Lieutenant’s Kenendy’s sailors. Additionally, other ships will be stationed along the route to provide refueling capacity for the PT boats.” Commander Cunningham considers this for a moment, then replies “be that as it may, the Japanese are hardly likely to let that ship just waltz in here and pick us all up...”

A predatory grin crosses Mr. Leavitt’s face as he replies “Commander, you may take it from me with absolute certainty that Japanese opposition won’t be a problem.”

“Very well, Mr. Leavitt. I’m trusting you with the lives of the officers and men under my command. Until it is time to leave, what will you and your men be doing?”

“We’ll be preparing a little surprise package for when the Japanese eventually come on shore; it’s located in the holds of the supposedly-wrecked cargo ship out in the lagoon. In fact, the ship was made to appear is it had been sunk as a result of damage sustained in the recent actions against the Japanese. This was done so as not to attract further enemy fire...”

“Why is that? What’s so special about that ship that it had to appear as if it were wrecked?”

“Commander Cunningham, that ship belongs to my employer and it is carrying a very large cargo of high explosives. It will be set to go off shortly after the Japanese come ashore; call it a kind of practical joke.”

“Just how much explosives are aboard that ship?”

Leavitt grins once again as he replies “ohh, how does ten thousand tons of Torpex sound?”

Cunnigham and his officers are so surprised by this statement that it is some time before they can respond. Eventually, Commander Cunningham says “did you just say ten thousand TONS of explosives?”

“Yes sir, I most certainly did. I think it’s rather obvious that we don’t want to be anywhere within ten miles of this place when Mr. Smith’s little party favor goes off; there won’t be much of an island left after that.” For the next few minutes, excited (and sometimes angry) discussions run around the conference table. Eventually, Cunningham pounds on the table and says “alright, people; pipe down and let’s get to work.”

For the next two days, Wake Island’s entire garrison throws themselves into their work. The fighters and PT boats are prepared for evacuation, while everyone else does whatever is necessary to facilitate the escape. Finally on the night of January 4th, everything is in readiness.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise
Date: January 4th, 1942
Location: Wake Island
Time: 8:00 PM local time

After two days of frenzied preparation, everything on Wake is ready to go. Drop tanks have been fitted to the P-38s, while the PT boats have removed their torpedoes & torpedo racks and replaced them with 55-gallon drums of fuel. Along with their personal weapons, the Marines and the aircraft ground crews will be taking one small bag of clothing and personal necessities.

In the meantime, the officers and men aboard Admiral Kajioka’s ships are eagerly anticipating the action to come tomorrow morning. Just then, the destroyers on picket duty flash a warning “ENEMY SHIPS APPROACHING FROM THE EAST-NORTHEAST; RANGE FIFTY NAUTICAL MILES AND CLOSING.” Immediately, General Quarters is sounded all throughout the fleet and the crews immediately run to their battle stations.

What seems to be an attack by American warships is nothing of the sort; what’s actually happening is that one of Mr. Smith’s Ghost Eagle-V UCAVs is on station and spoofing the radar systems on the Japanese ships. Instead of a patch of empty ocean, what appears on the enemy’s radar screens are a number of surface contacts approaching at the speed of 25 knots. Admiral Kajioka orders his ships to deploy in battle formation to resist the oncoming attack; the helmsmen alter their courses and the ships begin to move.

Back on Wake Island, Mr. Leavitt comes to Commander Cunningham and says “sir, Mr. Smith’s ships will be here in a little less than one hour. Would you please alert your men to be ready to move out?” Cunningham replies “how are we going to get everyone aboard? There aren’t sufficient small craft to get the men off the island in the time available...”

“Don’t worry about that one, sir. The two ships have a number of small boats aboard that will be launched to provide that transportation.”

Time: 9:15 PM local time

Whiel Admiral Kajioka’s ships are off chasing ghosts, Mr. Smith’s two ships arrive to evacuate Wake Island’s defenders. SS Glomar Explorer and SS Arcadia drop anchor just one mile offshore; their captains give the order to lower away their small boats and soon, the evacuation is under way. Back ashore on Wake Island, Major Putnam and Captain Elrod take their six remaining P-38s aloft and head towards Oahu, while Lieutenant Kennedy and his PT boat crews do likewise with their ships.

In preparation for the evacuation. Wake’s stores of munitions, the vehicles and artillery have all been readied for demolition by using charges made from the civilian dynamite stockpile on the island (previously used for construction purposes. At 9:30 PM, the first boats come into the lagoon and begin to take the Marines and other personnel aboard. These are quickly shuttled out to the waiting ships and the boats return to pick up more men. By 11:30 PM, all of the men on Wake Island are safely aboard ship.

In the meantime, the Japanese fleet is approaching the location where the enemy ships were sighted by radar. Suddenly, the images disappear from off their radar screens, much to the consternation of the officers and bridge crews. An hour of searching by his ships leads Admiral Kajioka to conclude that the earlier radar returns must have been mistaken, so he orders his ships to reverse course and head back to Wake Island. In order to keep the Americans from possibly taking advantage of this situation and trying to escape, the admiral orders that his six destroyers take up station around Wake Island at the range of seven or eight miles

SS Glomar Explorer is the senior of Mr. Smith’s two ships involved in this phase of the operation, so Commander Cunningham, Major Deveraux and their staff come aboard to meet with her commanding officer. The men are piped aboard and the meeting takes place in the ship’s wardroom.

“Good evening, Gentlemen. I am Captain Edward Roberts, commanding officer of SS Glomar Explorer; welcome aboard. My crew will see to quarters and provisions for you and you men; for now, I’m sure that you’ve got more than a few questions.”

Commander Cunningham speaks first and says “Captain Roberts, just how did this ship get past the Japanese? If they weren’t wilfully blind, the Japanese would have seen you and the other ship coming from miles away...” Captain Roberts grins widely and says “Commander, all it took was a little misdirection. You see, the Japanese fleet was fooled into thinking that there were a number of ships approaching from the east-northeast; all that we did was to take advantage of their absence. By now, I think the deception has been noticed.”

Captain Roberts uses a microphone mounted on a nearby bulkhead to call the bridge and say “XO, this is the Captain speaking. Lay in a course for the first rendezvous point, all ahead full.”

Jack Rackham immediately acknowledges the order and replies “lay in a course for Oahu, all ahead full, Aye, sir.”

Time: 11:30 PM local time

By now, SS Glomar Explorer and SS Arcadia have been under way for just over two hours. They are some 45 nautical miles away from Wake Island, and all of the Marines and sailors aboard them are celebrating their good fortune in having been able to escape. Back at Wake, the Japanese fleet has arrived and is preparing for the assault to come tomorrow morning; the destroyers are on picket duty around the island, and Admiral Kajioka is satisfied that there’s no way the Americans will slip out of his grasp.

Just then, a series of titanic explosions rocks the island. The demolition charges set among the garrison’s stockpiles of ammunition, rations, vehicles and equipment have gone off, while separate incendiary charges were set to burn down Wake’s barracks space. The bridge crews aboard the six destroyers can’t help but notice what’s going on, so messages are immediately flashed to Admiral Kajioka’s flagship. He confers with his personal staff and says “gentlemen, I think those explosions mean that the Americans realize that their situation is hopeless and that they are denying us the use of the weapons, munitions, equipment and supplies that we would otherwise have captured. Nevertheless, the operation commences after dawn tomorrow.”

The Killing Joke
Date: January 5th, 1942
Location: Wake Island
Time: 7:00 AM local time

All throughout the Japanese fleet, sailors man their duty stations in anticipation of the attack to come. By 7:00 AM, everything is in readiness. Admiral Kajioka orders “to all ships: OPEN FIRE!!” As the fleet’s flagship, Kirishima has the privilege of leveling her main battery and opening fire first. The ship is positioned parallel to Wake Island so that all eight of her 14" guns can bear on the target; very soon thereafter, all four turrets begin firing. The 14" guns are blasting away at their nominal rate of fire; 2 rounds per barrel per minute. Over the first five minutes, a total of 80 rounds are fired.

Kirishima is quickly joined by Chikuma and Tatsuta. Chikuma’s guns are firing at high elevation, so her rate of fire is limited to three rounds per minute; Tatsuta’s guns are firing at their maximum rate of 6 rounds per minute. In total, the first firing period of 15 minutes saw a total of 240 14" shells, 360 8" shells and 360 5.5" shells come raining down all over the island. A few shells of varying sizes even land in the lagoon, but they come nowhere near the ‘shipwreck’ lying there.

To assess the damage, Kirishima launches a seaplane from of her stern catapaults. The pilot overflies Wake Island and reports that the devastation seems to be total. The aircraft returns to the Kirishima, and the pilot delivers his report. Satisfied with what he hears, but desirous of teaching the upstart Americans a lesson in Japanese firepower, Admiral Kajioka orders his ships to start firing again. Just as before, the shooting lasts for 15 minutes. By now Kirishima has expended two-thirds of her basic load of 720 14" shells, while Chikuma and Tatsuta have each fired 25% of their stocks of main battery ammunition.

Seeing no response from Wake island’s defenders, Admiral Kajioka orders that Kirishima, Chikuma and Tatsuta cease fire in order to conserve their remaining main gun ammunition. The six destroyers are now ordered to close to within just three miles of the island and finish the job; one hour later, it’s all over. Another flight by one of Kirishima’s seaplanes reveals a scene of utter devastation, with the surface of Wake Island blasted into a virtual moonscape of smoking craters of varying sizes.

Admiral Kajioka’s face is crossed with a grin of satisfaction as he orders his captains to begin landing operations immediately. Both of Kirishima’s two seaplanes are put aloft to serve as airborne reconnaissance platforms, and are joined by all six aircraft from Chikuma. Secondary roles will be to strafe the island if necessary and to engage in light bombing where called for.

Back aboard ship, the remaining troops from the Special Naval Landing Force are joined by the remaining Japanese marines. The men are put aboard small craft and cautiously make their way towards the beach. Expecting to come under fire from the Americans, the Japanese troops are surprised when nothing of the sort happens.

The first order of business is to conduct an armed reconnaissance of the island. Once the landing beach is secure, platoon-sized elements of Japanese marines and the Naval landing force spread out all over the island. Within three hours, the reports start to come back and they are all the same. Scenes of utter devastation are everywhere, with burning debris, wrecked vehicles, smashed artillery pieces and shell craters both great and small. No buildings are intact and neither are the prepared positions from which artillery fired during the initial phases of the attack.

Admiral Kajioka concludes that the Americans must have evacuated Wake Island when his fleet was distracted. Therefore, he orders that the occupation begin in earnest. Additional small craft are launched form the six destroyers anchored just off shore, Then additional boats start to deliver supplies and equipment. While this is going on, Kirishima, Chikuma and Tatsuta don’t come as close as the destroyers; they anchor three miles off shore.

High overhead, the situation is being monitored closely by the sensor systems aboard a Ghost Eagle-V UCAV. Every 15 minutes, the operators back in Traffic Control at the Alpha Site are making regular reports to Otis Needleman who, in turn, forwards them to Mr. Smith. It is eventually noted that there are now hundreds of Japanese troops ashore on Wake Island, and that six Japanese destroyers are anchored about one mile offshore.

Needleman sends a priority transmission to Mr. Smith and says “boss, the bad guys are ashore in force on Wake Island. I think that it’s about time that your party favor was set off.” Mr. Smith replies “What’s the present situation?”
“There are 1,000 troops on shore, and more are arriving every hour. Ix Japanese destroyers are anchored off shore at the distance of one mile, while the Kirishima, Chikuma and Tatsuta are further out, perhaps at the distance of three miles or so.”

“You don’t say. Well, the Japanese must be rather surprised that they didn’t find anyone waiting to greet them when they came ashore. I see no reason why they all shouldn’t be given an opportunity to die for the Emperor, so you may fire when ready, Gridley.”

A predatory look crosses Otis Needleman’s face as he replies “copy that, boss.” To the UCAV operators he says “weapons hot, you may initiate at your discretion.”

While one operator controls the flight of the UCAV, the second operator inserts his arming key into the control panel and disengages the safety lock. Next, he begins a short countdown: “five, four, three, two, one....FIRE!!” The firing button is pressed, which relays a signal through the Ghost Eagle’s communications array. The signal reaches the detonators aboard the ‘wrecked’ ship in Wake Island’s lagoon and, instantly, the entire payload of 10,000 tons of Torpex goes off in an absolutely-volcanic blast. As such things are measured, this will be the largest conventional explosion that will ever take place. Everything and everyone on Wake Island is instantly annihilated by the force of the blast. The physics of the event are that Torpex has a detonation velocity of just under 29,000 feet-per-second, and that blast overpressure at Ground Zero is 7,580 PSI; falling to 15 PSI at a distance of ½ mile. At one mile, the overpressure is 7 PSI and at three miles, 1.75 PSI.

The ship carrying the Torpex was sunk in the lagoon, immediately south of the Pan American Airways seaplane terminal on Peale Island. When the explosives detonate, a crater measuring 300 yards across and 100 yards deep is excavated; since the ship is right next to the shore, the former site of the PAA hotel is obliterated (along with part of Flipper Point and the nearby shore); the effect is as if some incomprehensibly-vast creature took a huge bite out of the island.

Within the merest fraction of a second, the balst wave reaches the six Japanese destroyers anchored just offshore. They are sunk with all hands by the force of the blast and the accompanying blizzard of cast-iron shrapnel (in the form of more than 800,000 4.5"-diameter spheres). Another fraction of a second after that, the blast wave reaches the three Japanese capital ships. Of these, Kirishima’s upper works are smashed beyond recognition, while Chikuma and Tatsuta are similarly-damaged. Beyond these three, the fleet’s supply ships and oilers are damaged to a lesser (but still significant) degree. Deck fires break out on just about all of them, and it is only by the efforts of their crews that the fires didn’t go out of control.

Time: 11:00 AM

Lt. Kennedy’s PT boats are now 420 nautical miles west of Wake Island, with SS Glomar Explorer and SS Arcadia 120 nautical miles behind them. Suddenly, the personnel aboard all vessels hear a loud rumble from out of the west; the effect is as the roar of heavy guns. Immediately, Commander Cunningham seeks out Captain Roberts and asks “is that what I think it is?”

“You are correct, sir. Unless I am mistaken, sall the Japanese on Wake Island are now dead, and all of the ships nearby have either been sunk or heavily damaged. A rather ‘hot’ reception for some unwelcome guests, don’t you think?”

“I certainly do, Captain. Where do we go from here?”

“We’ll rendezvous with Lt. Kennedy’s PT boats in 13 hours. At that time, we’ll re-fuel them and proceed to the next rendezvous. It’s 2,300 miles from Wake Island to Oahu, so we’ll have to meet with them a total of three times.”

“What about Major Putnam, Captain Elrod and the other P-38 pilots?”

“Assuming a cruising speed of 350 mph, they landed at Pearl Harbor five hours ago. By now, they’re reporting to General Short; I rather imagine that they’ve got quite a story to tell....”

Operation: Vengeance
Date: January 8th, 1942
Location: various
Time: 1:00 PM Central European Time

Upon receiving intelligence that the Wannsee Conference is about to be held, Otis Needleman so apprises Mr. Smith and in turn, receives an order to dispatch a Ghost Eagle-V UCAV to Berlin and then to Paris. The machine eventually arrives on-station and begins to orbit the target location at an altitude of 50,000’AGL. The Ghost Eagle’s signature suppression systems and active stealth camouflage are such that the machine is for all intents & purposes invisible (both to the naked eye and the primitive radar systems in use by the Germans). For this mission, the weapons payload consists of two 750-lb FAE bombs (a copy of the old CBU-55), a 500-lb DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) bomb and a standard 500-lb bomb.

Rather than a conventional casing of cast & machined steel the DIME bomb’s casing is spun from carbon fiber. The casing is in the form of a double-walled tube with tapered ends; the guidance unit is affixed to the tail, and there is a streamlined nosecone. With the walls of the cylinder is contained 150 lbs of an alloy of 91% tungsten, 5% nickel and 4” cobalt; this alloy is in the form of small pellets equivalent in size to #12 lead birdshot. The cylinder’s central cavity is filled with a charge of Torpex weighing 350 lbs; ordinarily, a 500-lb aerial bomb’s explosive charge would be no more than 50% of its nominal weight. On this basis of comparison, a 500-lb DIME bomb has 50% more explosive power than a conventional bomb of the same weight. Factoring in the increased power of Torpex, this weapon has almost as much explosive power as a conventional 1,000-lb bomb.

As for the thermobaric bomb, it consists of a streamlined aluminum cylinder with a round nose and guidance fins attached to the back. Inside the casing are three individual sub-munitions, each loaded with 150 lbs of propane and a small triggering charge. When the dispenser falls to a pre-determined height over the target, it will automatically rupture and deploy the submunitions. In turn, these submunitions will deploy themselves in such a manner that they descend on the target in a triangular pattern. At a predetermined height, the submunitions will deploy their payloads in clouds of highly-explosive gas measuring 90' in diameter and 8' thick. Then, the detonators fire the clouds and create massive explosions.

Far below the Ghost Eagle’s cruising altitude, the Wannsee Conference is getting under way. It is being hosted by SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, and attended by a veritable ‘who’s who’ of high-ranking officials in the Nazi government. These individuals are SS-Gruppenführer Otto Hofmann, SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Müller, SS-Oberführer Dr. Karl Eberhard Schöngarth, SS-Oberführer Dr. Gerhard Klopfer, SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, SS-Sturmbannführer Dr. Rudolf Lange, Dr. Georg Leibbrandt, Dr. Alfred Meyer, Dr. Josef Bühler, Dr. Roland Freisler, SS-Brigadeführer Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart, SS-Oberführer Erich Neumann, Friedrich Wilhelm Kritzinger and Martin Luther.

Once all the participants have been assembled, Heydrich calls the meeting to order at 1:00 PM and says “gentlemen, we are met to discuss how to better implement the Führer’s policy of Endlösung; the ‘Final Solution’ to the Jewish Question and to this end, to foster better cooperation amongst the several departments of the Government of the Reich. Gruppenführer Hofmann, you are the head of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office; your department’s report, if you please...”

Hoffman opens his briefcase, assembles several documents and proceeds to take his position behind the lectern at the head of the table. He begins by saying “danke, Herr Obergruppenführer. I’ll begin by saying...”

Three minutes and thirty seconds before Hoffman began speaking, the Ghost Eagle-V circling the Wannsee Villa high overhead receives a signal from Operations to deploy its first weapon. Accordingly, the UCAV designates the target with its infarred targeting laser and deploys the 500-lb DIME bomb carried on the starboard wing. The weapon locks on to the laser light reflected from the target and falls true; it reaches terminal velocity in just three minutes, then strikes the target soon thereafter. The bomb comes in through the large window on the north end of the conference room at an angle and strikes near the middle of the conference table. Before any of those present can think to react, the weapon detonates. Instantly, a shock wave with a velocity of just under 29,000 feet-per-second is created; everyone in the room is instantly killed, from a combination of heat, pressure and getting pulped by the bomb’s microshrapnel. Thirty seconds after the DIME bomb detonates, the UCAV operators release the 750-lb thermobaric bomb. Taking the same time to fall, the weapon’s casing breaks open at a predetermined height and releases the three submunitions. They function as designed and the Wannsee Villa and four acres of the estate on which it sits is consumed in a massive explosion.

The senior UCAV operator turns to Otis Needleman and says “target destroyed, boss.” He replies “Good work. Proceed to the second target in Paris; you may engage and soon as the UCAV is on station.”

The Ghost Eagle assumes a new course and increases its speed to 350 mph; the distance between Berlin and Paris is 546 miles, so the flight takes less than one hour and 40 minutes. After arrival, the operators take care to locate the new target. This is the headquarters building (a structure formerly known as the
Banque Léopold Louis Dreyfus) of the General Commission to Jewish Affairs (CGQJ), located on the Place des Petits-Pères in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. Given its former use, the building is stoutly-constructed. Therefore, the 500-lb demolition bomb will deployed first to blast open the roof. Then, the 750-lb FAE will be dropped. Given that the 2nd arrondissement of Paris is largely a business district, it was decided to wait until well after dark to conduct the strike (the better to avoid unnecessary casualties).

Time: 9:00 PM

The work day for Parisians has been done for the past three hours; everyone in the offices and businesses in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris has gone home for the night. There are still police officers and other functionaries on duty in the CGQJ headquarters and for them, this will be their last night on earth. As planned, the 500-lb demolition bomb is dropped. After it goes off, the 750-lb FAE is deployed. Just as at the Wannsee Villa in Berlin, the resulting explosion is of such magnitude that the CGQJ headquarters is leveled (along with the entirety of the Place des Petits-Pères). Instantly, the contents of the CGQJ building (including the files which would have been used to conduct the roundup of the Jewish citizens of Paris) begin to burn quite vigorously. Given the destruction in the
Place des Petits-Pères and the streets surrounding it, it is some little time before the Municipal Fire Department is able to get close enough to begin fighting the blaze; by this time, the blaze is almost out of control. Eventually however, the fires are put out. All that is left of the CGQJ building is a charred shell, with piles of smoking ash filling the basement and first floor. Otis Needleman notes the success of the second strike and immediately sends a message to Mr. Smith.

“Good evening, boss. I just wanted to let you know that the Wannsee Villa has been destroyed and everyone inside the building has been killed. Also, the General Commission to Jewish Affairs building in Paris has been destroyed. So much for those Nazi assholes and their boot-licking Vichy collaborators being able to carry out the Vel d’Hive roundup.”

“Mr. Smith claps his hands with great enthusiasm and replies “excellent work, Otis; my compliments to everyone involved. Now that those two targets have been serviced, send word to the French Section to execute Phase Two of Operation Vengeance.”

“Copy that, Jim. I’ll report back when all targets have been terminated with extreme predjudice. Needleman out.”

Date: January 9th-January 10th, 1942

In the immediate aftermath of the destruction of CGQJ headquarters, the French National Police and the Paris branch of the Gestapo are falling all over themselves as they struggle to determine exactly just what happened. All throughout Paris, there is an undercurrent of fear and uncertainty as officials in the Vichy Government wonder if the explosions and fire were the result of an enemy air raid. In this atmosphere, agents of Mr. Smith’s French Section go into action. Their targets are as follows:

René Bousquet; Secretary-General of the National Police
Jean Leguay; Bousquet’s deputy
Xavier Vallat; current head of the CGQJ
Louis Darquier de Pellepoix; Vallat’s successor as head of the CGQJ
André Tulard; creator of the CGJQ files, head of the Foreigners & Jewish Affairs Section, Prefecture of Police, Paris.
Jean Francois; Director of the General Police
Emile Hennequin; head of the Paris Police

Mr. Smith decided that the deaths of these seven men were entirley proper and necessary, as they would have been instrumental in carrying out the Vel d’Hive roundup. First, René Bousquet is kidnapped while on his way home from his office and taken to a safe house where his neck is broken with a device called a portable scaffold. This instrument consists of a brace for the shoulders, a collar that goes around the neck and a powerful pneumatic ratchet connecting the two. When activated, it fractures the vicitm’s neck between the 3rd and 5th cervical verterbrae in one-tenth of a second (thus exactly duplicating the effects of an execution conducted on a gallows). Afterwards, Bousquet’s body is dumped on the Place du Combat; near the former site of the Gibbert of Montfaucon (used by the Kings of France between 1278 and 1629 to execute criminals and display their bodies afterwards).

Next in line to be killed is Jean Lequay, who is stabbed to death with an icicle as he leaves his office. Lequay had a driver and two bodyguards with him, so the five men were gassed unconscious before Lequay was stabbed. At the same time that Jean Lequay’s death was being carried out, Xavier Vallat was kidnapped, gassed unconscious and taken to the same safehouse where René Bousquet was killed. Here, he was wrapped up in chicken wire along with two hundred pounds of cast-iron window weights. Afterwards, he was thrown from the Pont Neuf into the Seine to drown.

Number Four on the hit parade is Louis Darquier de Pellepoix. He is kidnapped from his home, fitted for a pair of concrete overshoes and thrown into the Seine while still conscious. André Tulard is asphyxiated to death at his home from an apparent natural gas leak, while Jean Francois killed at his home when an electric fan ‘accidentally’ falls into his tub and he is electrocuted. Last but not least, Emile Hennequin is killed via asphyxiation with carbon dioxide gas from dry ice.


Last edited by Garrity on Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:32 pm
Posts: 6299
Good endings to bad actors

_________________
Faugh a Ballagh


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
jemhouston wrote:
Good endings to bad actors

Both the Japanese invaders at Wake Island and those Vichy French assclowns got precisely what they deserved.

I can only imagine how FDR is going to respond when he gets word of Mr. Smith's latest stunt....


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:32 pm
Posts: 6299
Garrity wrote:
jemhouston wrote:
Good endings to bad actors

Both the Japanese invaders at Wake Island and those Vichy French assclowns got precisely what they deserved.

I can only imagine how FDR is going to respond when he gets word of Mr. Smith's latest stunt....


Probably read him the riot act for the Guam bomb. If a Japanese shell hit it, good bye Guam and US defenders.

_________________
Faugh a Ballagh


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
jemhouston wrote:
Garrity wrote:
jemhouston wrote:
Good endings to bad actors

Both the Japanese invaders at Wake Island and those Vichy French assclowns got precisely what they deserved.

I can only imagine how FDR is going to respond when he gets word of Mr. Smith's latest stunt....


Probably read him the riot act for the Wake Island bomb. If a Japanese shell hit it, good bye Guam and US defenders.

Those are my thoughts, also. It was an incredible, calculated gamble which paid off VERY handsomely. In all likelihood, FDR will STRONGLY advise Mr. Smith not to pull anything like it again.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:21 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:32 pm
Posts: 6299
At least not before checking with him.

FDR might let him get away with pulling one on the Army, but not the Navy. According General Marshall, FDR always referred to the Army as them, USN as us. :lol:

_________________
Faugh a Ballagh


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:21 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 10603
Garrity wrote:
Those are my thoughts, also. It was an incredible, calculated gamble which paid off VERY handsomely. In all likelihood, FDR will STRONGLY advise Mr. Smith not to pull anything like it again.


"Well done Sir. Now, Don't EVER do that again . . . "

_________________
Nations do not survive by setting examples for others.
Nations survive by making examples of others


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
I honestly thought that little stunt was going to extirpate the entire atoll; Imagine how surprised I was when I ran the numbers and all that happened was to take a little bite out of the so the shore of Beale Island. It would have needed over one hundred times as much bangstoff, and that's a wee bit beyond Mr. Smith's capabilities.

Unless of course he decides to go nuclear which would of course, lead to some rather pointed questions..... :shock:


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:07 pm 
Offline
Mockingbird

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:29 am
Posts: 3907
Location: BB-16, BB-62
Nitpicks ahead.

1.
Quote:
The Ghost Eagle assumes a new course and increases its speed to 350 mph; the distance between Berlin and Paris is 546 miles, so the flight takes less than 40 minutes


Math doesn't gibe. Do you mean an hour rand 40 minutes?

2. You've got the wannsee meeting getting blasted at 1 PM, an hour and 40 minute flight, and then the paris building getting blasted at 9 PM. Unless you're using more than one, which kind of seems to be the opposite of what's implied, you've fiddled the times. Do you have the ghost eagle flying racetrack patterns for something like 7 hours?

On the plus side, I am enjoying this still. Keep up the good work.

Belushi td


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
Belushi TD wrote:
Nitpicks ahead.

1.
Quote:
The Ghost Eagle assumes a new course and increases its speed to 350 mph; the distance between Berlin and Paris is 546 miles, so the flight takes less than 40 minutes


Math doesn't gibe. Do you mean an hour rand 40 minutes?

2. You've got the wannsee meeting getting blasted at 1 PM, an hour and 40 minute flight, and then the paris building getting blasted at 9 PM. Unless you're using more than one, which kind of seems to be the opposite of what's implied, you've fiddled the times. Do you have the ghost eagle flying racetrack patterns for something like 7 hours?

On the plus side, I am enjoying this still. Keep up the good work.

Belushi td

You're right, it should have been and hour and a half; will edit. As for the UCAV that did the Paris and Berlin strikes, it did fly a race track pattern.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:54 pm 
Offline
Mockingbird

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:29 am
Posts: 3907
Location: BB-16, BB-62
Why have it increase speed? Increased speed means increased fuel burn...

Why not have it just go to Paris? Who cares if it takes longer, as it has to sit around evading detection for some 7 hours anyway, plenty of time to make the trip at 100 MPH.

Belushi TD


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
Matters of Concern
Date: January 10th, 1942
Location: various
Time: various

Despite the fanatic resistance put up by the defenders of Leningrad, the Nazis’ overwhelming superiority in men and materiel proved to be too much for the city’s defenders to resist; Leningrad's last line of defense is beginning to crumble and, in anticipation of this, Wehrmacht troops are beginning to assemble for an assault into the city proper. STAVKA already knew that the situation was tenuous because the Wehrmacht’s Army Group North is occupying the entire south bank of Lake Ladoga; thus making the carriage of supplies over the ice too long to be effective. When word reached the Politburo of what had happened, Stalin threw one of his monumental rages and fixed the blame on what he called ‘spies, saboteurs and counter-revolutionary wreckers’. He further ordered that, if so much as one German soldier enters the city, the four division commanders responsible for the defense of the city will be summarily shot for failing in their duty. Just then, when all seemed lost, a message was received from Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim in Finland. In it, he offered to allow humanitarian relief (food & medical supplies) to pass through Finnish territories in exchange for a return to pre-Winter War borders. Stalin was outraged, but he quickly realized that without that support, Leningrad will fall. Therefore, Foreign Minister Andrey Vishinsky was instructed to reply to Marshal Mannerheim and tell him that his terms are accepted.

Next, Stalin conferred with his top military commanders (including Marshal Ivan Konev), members of the Presidium and the Defense Commissariat and ordered that preparations for the defense of Moscow be increased by the maximum amount possible. Fortunately for the Russians, the loss of Leningrad’s industrial capacity (which amounted to some 11% of the Soviet Union’s entire output before the war) has already begun to be made good, with new factories, machine shops and other industrial concerns being set up elsewhere in the country. Additionally, those industries in areas vulnerable to attack by the Nazis have been ordered to be broken down, shipped east by train and reassembled so that they can get back into business as soon as possible. The Soviet task is greatly eased by the flood of supplies and equipment coming in from SmithCorp in the United States. Ships carrying supplies to be sent to Russia gather in such East Coast ports as New York, and Boston, where their cargoes are loaded. Then, the ships sail in convoy to the Russian port city of Murmansk. Some of Mr. Smith’s ships are already armed for self-defense, and the U.S Navy is expected to start providing warships to escort the convoys within 60 days. Already, there have been losses on what will later be called the ‘Murmansk Run’, but no more than 5%-10% of the total. To make up for these shortfalls in delivery, the size of future shipments is being increased by the amount lost (at no extra cost to the Soviets, of course).

Back in Germany, the shock of what happened to the Wannsee Conference hits Adolf Hitler and the other members of the Nazi hierarchy with all the force of the proverbial thunderbolt. Convinced that what happened could only have come about as the result of a British bombing raid (intended as a decapitation strike and not against a military target), Hitler orders Herman Goering and the Luftwaffe to devise a suitable plan for retaliation. Prospective targets include (but aren’t limited to) the Palace of Westminster, which has been struck a total of 14 times thus far (most-recently on the night of May 10th-11th, 1941, when it was hit by a total of twelve bombs), Buckingham Palace (having already been struck by a total of nine bombs on different occasions), the Tower of London and Dover Castle.

The Gift
Date: January 11th, 1942
Location: 10 Downing Street, London
Time: 10:00 AM

While working in his office, Prime Minister Churchill’s routine is pleasantly-interrupted by the arrival of a package from Mr. Smith in care of Norfolk House. It is delivered in person by Harold Smythe, who says “Prime Minister, Sir James Smith charged me with delivering certain tokens of his esteem.” Churchill replies “ahh yes, Mr. Smythe. Do please have a seat and I’ll see what you have.”

“Yes, sir”.

Mr. Smythe does as he is asked, and takes a seat just to the left of Churchill’s desk. The first package he hands over contains four boxes of Mr. Smith’s Gran Corona cigars; presented because of the Prime Minister’s fondness for Cuban cigars (acquired when he was there observing the Cuban War of Independence in 1895) the second box is rather more substantial. Before opening it, Mr. Smythe says “Sir James had the contents of this box made especially for you, as he owns the company which originally produced it.”

A look of curiosity crosses the Prime Minister’s face as he says “do tell.”

The case that Smythe puts down on Churchill’s desk is of violin-finished black walnut with corner pieces of sterling silver (resembling a larger version of the FBI hard case); there is also a enameled silver plate inlaid into the lid which depicts the Prime Minister’s coat-of-arms. Inside, the several compartments are finished with blue velour and fitted to accommodate the contents. Churchill is stopped short by what he sees; nothing other than a very finely-finished Model 1921AC Thompson submachinegun. No ordinary weapon, but an example produced and finished to the highest standards. For example, the receiver was machined from a billet of Damascus steel (forged with 1,024 individual layers in the Persian-Turkish pattern). The weapon’s pistol grip, forestock and buttstock have a finish which matches the case, while parts such as the trigger, safety selector, muzzle compensator, rear ladder sight and cocking knob are finished in titanium nitride (which looks like gold but is practically indestructible). Inside the case, there are accessories appropriate to the gun; a 50-round drum magazine finished in fire-blue with a nickel-plated winder, four 30-round stick magazines (also finished in fire-blue) and a cleaning kit with the necessary tools to maintain the weapon).

Churchill takes the Thompson out of the case and hefts it. After a few moments of admiration, he replaces it and says “Mr. Smythe, I’ve had a certain appreciation for firearms ever since my service in India and the Sudan in the 1890s. This weapon is as fine a piece of machine work as I have ever seen, and Sir James is to be thanked for gifting it to me.”

“I shall convey your gratitude to Sir James as soon as possible, Prime Minister. It may interest you to know that this particular Thompson submachinegun is one of twelve identical examples produced to his order; with a somewhat irreverent sense of humor, he calls them the ‘Twelve Apsotles’ because they would be ideal for spreading the gospel of battle in hostile situations.”

“Indeed, Mr. Smythe. What’s this third case you have...some other presentation, I take it?”

“Yes, sir. This third case has a matched pair of Colt Commercial Model 1911 .45-acp pistols. These guns have sequential serial numbers and were made back in 1922. Along with the guns, there are maintenance tools and a cleaning kit.” The Prime Minister replies “once again, Sir James has my thanks for these magnificent gifts.”

Command Conference
Date: January 17th, 1942
Location: The White House
Time: 9:00 AM

As he has done so many times in the past, Mr. Smith comes to the White House for a meeting with the President. He is accompanied by Joanne Faulkner and this time, there’s something of an edge in the air. The meeting is taking place in the Oval Office and aside from President Roosevelt, those in attendance are Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Admiral Howard Stark and General George Marshall.

President Roosevelt calls the meeting to order and says “Mr. Smith, one of the reasons you are here is to tell us why you took such an incredible, calculated gamble. If it had gone wrong, I dare say you’d be up on charges. Whatever possessed you to try something like this without telling me first?”

“Mr. President, gentlemen, it’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission. As I said before, I have known for the last ten years that conflict between the United States and Japan was inevitable. As such, I thought it only right and proper to make things as difficult as possible for the Japanese; witness my actions in regard to the attack on Pearl Harbor. As for Wake Island, my understanding of the strategic situation in the Pacific was that it would be a target in any war between the United States and Japan. To this end, I bailed Juan Trippe out of his financial difficulties and took a controlling interest in Pan American Airways; once this was accomplished, I used the immense financial resources at my command to upgrade Wake’s civilian and military infrastructure. When war seemed imminent, I had one of my surplus cargo vessels loaded with 10,000 tons of high explosives and sailed to Wake Island. Once there, it was anchored in the lagoon near to the PAA seaplane dock. After the Japanese attacked, I had my staff on the island go to work with cutting torches and make it seem as if the ship had been damaged (and subsequently sunk at her moorings) during the engagement.”

President Roosevelt beckons to Secretary Knox, who says “Mr. Smith, why did you assume that the ship wouldn’t be attacked?”

“Mr. Secretary, my reading of the Japanese military mindset is that they will bypass targets that are insignificant (or those who offer no resistance) in favor of those who put up a fight; this was certainly the case at Wake Island. Once the President gave Commander Cunningham the authority to evacuate the island and the Marines, pilots and sailors were all safely away, this was when I decided to spring my little surprise on the Japanese. The commanding officer of the invasion force must have thought the forces of hell itself were rising against him, as all Japanese personnel on the island were instantly annihilated when the explosives went off. All ships that were anchored close by (within a mile or so) were sunk and those out to a range of three miles were heavily damaged.”

Secretary Stimson speaks next and asks “Mr. Smith, I don’t suppose that you have other such ‘surprise’ packages in store, do you?”

“Sir, in all seriousness, I wish that I did. As it stands, I couldn’t pull this off again even if I wanted to; you see, this little practical joke of mine literally took years to set up. Even if I had the time to do it all over again, I hardly think that the Japanese would let themselves get suckered a second time. There were two benefits to what happened, however. The first of these are the losses in ships and men suffered by the Japanese; the second is the fear in their minds that something like this might happen again (and the uncertainty of where it might happen).”

Just then, President Roosevelt places a cigarette in his holder and lights up. He takes a puff or two, puts the holder down on a convenient ashtray then fixes his gaze on Mr. Smith. FDR’s eyes are as gray as the January skies as he says “well-played, sir; it goes without saying that I don‘t want you to pull another stunt like that again.”

“Very good, sir. I recall an incident that took place back when you were Assistant Secretary of the Navy; in the summer of 1918, you were travelling to Europe aboard a destroyer when you (and the new outfit you were wearing) happened to get accidentally drenched from a saltwater hose held by a young officer named Ensign Victor Henry. Afterwards, you were asked why you didn’t give that Ensign a good-dressing-down for what had happened; you said that ‘the quality of mercy is mightiest in the mightiest’, something that you have once again demonstrated just now.”

“Indeed. Now, let’s proceed with other business. General Marshall?”

“Yes, Mr. President. The late actions over Wake Island and Pearl Harbor have proven the value of the P-38 fighter. Pilots in the USAAF are full of praise for their agility and for their devastating firepower; however, the aircraft is somewhat expensive. Mr. Smith, can your company produce a fighter that is less-expensive (while having the same measure of performance)?”

“Yes sir, I can. As it so happens, I anticipated that such a request might be made, so I set my design engineers to work on just such a design; I call it the ‘Mustang’, after the wild horse of the American southwest. This aircraft is a single-engine design that is faster than the P-38, lighter, more maneuverable and with a longer range. Whereas the P-38’s unit cost is $90,000, a Mustang can be produced for just $50,000 each. By way of comparison, the P-38’s top speed is 414 mph and the Mustang’s is 440 mph; cruising speed for the former is 275 mph while the latter’s is 362 mph. The P-38’s maximum range is 1,300 miles, while the Mustang’s is 1,650 miles. As far as weight is concerned, the P-38 has a maximum takeoff weight of 21,600 lbs, while a Mustang at full load weighs just 12,100 lbs. To speed the design process, my architects used some of the same design features on the Mustang as on the P-38; these are the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine (which Smith Aircraft Group produces under license), an ejection seat, armored cockpit, bullet-resistant canopy and lastly, the same fire control system. Much of the weight savings comes from two factors; first, there’s only one engine. Second, the airplane is a pure air-superiority fighter that doesn’t have a pound for air-to-ground.”

Upon hearing this, General Marshall and Secretary Stimson exchange glances, then Marshall replies “how soon can you have the aircraft available for testing?”

“The first prototype will be available in mid-February, with a further twelve examples to come two weeks later. Assuming that my design passes all the necessary tests, SmithCorp can put the Mustang into production as soon as you give the word.”

“Excellent.”

“Thank you, General Marshall. Mr. President?”

“Yes?”

“Now that the USAAF has looked with favor on my super-heavy bomber design, I need someone to serve as project officer.”

“Do you have anyone particular in mind?”

“Yes. sir. The officer I have in mind is Major Curtis Lemay; he’s due to take command of the 305th Bomb Group, which is currently in the process of being stood up. If Secretary Stimson could see his way clear to assigning Major Lemay to the program, I would greatly appreciate it.”

President Roosevelt scratches his chin reflexively and replies “I don’t think that would be too much of a problem, Mr. Smith.”

“Mr. President, while I’m still here, might I enquire as to the status of the decoration of Colonel Lindbergh and the other Blackhawks?”

“Why, certainly. As it so happens, the awards ceremony will be taking place in the East Room on February 7th. By my authority as commander-in-chief, Colonel Lindbergh is being promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.”

“Sir, unless I am very much mistaken, don’t promotions from Colonel to General have to be acted on by the Senate?”

“You would be correct, James. I have spoken to Senator Charles Jonas; Chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, Senator Alben Barkley; Senate Majority Leader and Senator Charles L. McNary; Senate Minority Leader. In view of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor, they have agreed to forgo the usual promotion process and permit Lindbergh’s immediate promotion.”

“What of the others, sir?”

“As President and Commander-in-Chief, I have the authority to commission whoever I see fit. Accordingly, I will issue executive orders commissioning Amelia Earhart as a full colonel, Fritz Beckhardt as a Lt. Colonel, May Day & Jacqueline Cochrane as majors and the other pilots as captains.”

“Understood, Mr. President. What about their decorations? The last thing I want is to see them denied the recognition and honor that is rightfully theirs.”

“Mr. Smith, you need have no concern in that regard. General Lindbergh will receive the Medal of Honor, as will Colonel Earhart; the other pilots will receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. It was pointed out to me that civilians can’t receive the Medal, so I’ll get around this by making the commissions retroactive to the morning of December 7th, before the attack occurred. You’ll also be interested to know that Captain Henry Elrod is being promoted to the rank of Major and Lt (JG) John Kennedy is being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant; both of them will receive the Medal of Honor for their actions at Wake Island.”

“Wonderful news, Mr. President; I should think that Joseph Kennedy will be absolutely delighted at the news.”

The meeting concludes and, the very next day, President Roosevelt issues the executive orders promoting Charles Lindbergh and commissioning the other members of the Blackhawks. The orders are published in the Federal Register & Code of Federal Regulations and are as follows:

Executive Order No. 9023 3 CFR page 10
Charles Lindbergh is hereby promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Army Air Forces, such promotion being retroactive to the morning of December 7th, 1941.

Executive Order No. 9024 3 CFR page 10
The following individuals are hereby commissioned at the specified ranks into the U.S. Army Air Forces:

Name Rank Date of Rank
Beckhardt, Fritz Lieutenant-Colonel December 7th, 1941
Kawamoto, Fred Captain December 7th, 1941
Kuroki, Benjamin Captain December 7th, 1941
Wong, John Captain December 7th, 1941
Chin, Arthur Captain December 7th, 1941
Wong, Sun-Sui Captain December 7th, 1941
Mantz, Paul Captain December 7th, 1941
Corrigan, Douglas Captain December 7th, 1941

Earhart, Amelia Colonel December 7th, 1941
Cochrane, Jacqueline Major December 7th, 1941
Day, May Major December 7th, 1941
Nishimura, Jean Captain December 7th, 1941
Dougherty, Dora Captain December 7th, 1941
Moorman, Dorothea Captain December 7th, 1941
Thaden, Louise Captain December 7th, 1941
Brown, Willa Captain December 7th, 1941
Elder, Ruth Captain December 7th, 1941


After leaving the White House, Mr. Smith and Joanne Faulkner return to Evermay House (headquarters of the Washington, D.C. section), where they’ll be operating for the rest of their time in the city. Next on the agenda is a visit to the headquarters of the FBI (housed in the Department of Justice Building), located over on 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW).

Faulkner asks “Jim, what’s with the visit to Hoover’s place? I thought you didn’t like him...”

“I don’t like him and I never will; that’s not to say I don’t find him occasionally useful. Do you recall how I sicced him and the FBI on that bunch of Russian spies some time ago? Well, now that the United States is at war with Nazi Germany, it’s time to do the same with Der Fuhrer’s spooks.”

“Ahh, I get it now. You got some major cred with Hoover and FDR when the FBI rounded up all those Russian agents, and the same thing will happen when the FBI puts the bag on the Krauts; I like it. When are we fixing to go see Hoover?”

“Tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM.”

Next, Smith & Faulkner occupy themselves over the next several hours walking around the Mall & Reflecting Pool and taking in the sights. Along the way, they pay a visit to such places as the Rotunda of the Capitol Building, the Smithsonian Institution and the Lincoln Memorial; when at the memorial, Joanne remarks “Jim, even though we’ve been to D.C more than a few times, the difference between now and what May Day and I saw when we were here in 1865 is still hard to comprehend; the city wasn’t half as large as it is today, and the Washington Memorial wasn’t finished.”

“But of course. That was back in April of 1930, when you traveled back to 1865 and put the bag on the conspirators in the Lincoln Assassination; May Day and Alexander Randall were your backups on that mission. As I recall, the payoff was quite a handsome sum. You got the reward of $100,000 from the Federal Government, plus a combined reward of $80,000 from the state government of Maryland and the government of Prince George County, Maryland.”

“Yes, we did. After that was the side trip to 1859 when Randall and I backed up May Day on the Harriet Tubman job; instead of capturing Tubman and turning her in for the reward on her head (then breaking her out of jail afterwards), she decided that there would be less risk in just robbing the Maryland State Treasury of $40,000 in gold coin; which is just what we did. I tell you, it was like taking candy from a baby.”

“Indeed. Now that we’ve worked up such an appetite, what say we retire to the restaurant at Willard’s Hotel and indulge in a late lunch? Then, we’ll return to Evermay House and, tonight, we’ll take in a performance of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ at the National Theatre down the street from the White House. Tomorrow, of course, we’ve got that little sit-down with J. Edgar Hoover at FBI Headquarters.”

“Sounds like a plan, boss.

Forewarned is Forearmed
Date: January 18th, 1942
Location: FBI Headquarters, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Time: 9:00 AM

The next morning, Smith & Faulkner are driven to the Department of Justice building by a member of the D.C. section’s staff, and they arrive precisely at 9:00 AM. Mr. Smith presents himself to the receptionist at the front desk and says “good morning, madam. I am Mr. James Smith and the lady with me is my assistant Joanne Faulkner. I have an appointment with Director Hoover.”

“One moment, sir; I’ll call upstairs and announce you.”

The call is made and very shortly thereafter, one of the headquarters agents arrives to escort Smith & Faulkner upstairs. The agent knocks on Hoover’s office door and says “James Smith and Joanne Faulkner to see you, sir.” Hoover calls out “enter”, then leaves the Director and his visitors alone.

Hoover’s face affects a look of studious indifference as he says “well, well, well. I was beginning to wonder when I was going to see you again, Smith.” Inside his mind, however, Hoover is angry at having to talk to Mr. Smith; remembering full-well that Smith has his hooks into him so deeply that they’ll never come out.

“Good morning, Director; I take it that you remember my associate Ms. Faulkner?”

Hoover nods his head by way of reply and says “of course, how could I forget? Let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we? Why are you here?”

“Director, do you recall how I conveyed certain information to President Roosevelt about the levels of Soviet infiltration in the United States after Harry Hopkins’ treachery was exposed?”

“Of course, I do. Why do you ask?”

“After your agency dropped the hammer on those Russian spies, you got some major street cred with the public, and the President’s favorable opinion of you rose rather sharply. Now, I’m here to do you another favor; this time, in regards to German spies.”
Hoover raises an eyebrow as a indication of his curiosity as he replies “do please go on, Mr. Smith.”

“Of course, Director. The United States and Nazi Germany have been at war for just over one month. In that time, a small number of agents from the Abwehr have infiltrated into the country from Canada and Cuba. Of far greater concern are the personnel the Nazis already had in place prior to the outbreak of hostilities between our two countries; most of these people are American citizens whose sympathies are with the Nazi cause. In most cases, none of them have done anything yet. Just recently however, the security people at my electronics laboratory in Chicago got wind of a plan to steal the technology behind my proximity fuze, as well as the plans for the Gunfire Control System that my company builds for the U.S. Army Air Forces. Two German agents actually managed to infiltrate the laboratory and were in the process of stealing one of the proximity fuzes and the plans for the GFCS when my guys caught them; right now, my man Otis Needleman has them on ice. I’d be obliged if you were to call the SAC of the Chicago office and have him dispatch a team of agents to pick them up. Ordinarily, I would have killed them with my bare hands and had their heads sent back to Berlin packed in dry ice; but I have grown beyond such mere physical chastisements.”

“Very well, Mr. Smith. I’ll see what I can do. How about the others?”

“Ms. Faulkner will give you a file with complete information on every German agent in the United States; those who recently infiltrated into the country and of course, the sleepers. The file contains their names, addresses, phone numbers, when & where they were contacted and by whom. There is also information about any and all monies that have changed hands; the banks where the accounts are held, the account numbers, balances, etc. Joanne, the file if you please.”

“Right away, boss.”

Faulkner opens her briefcase, extracts a thick file folder and places it on Hoover’s desk. He picks it up, briefly scans the contents and says “Smith, you strike me as the kind of person who never does anything without a reason. What do you want from me?”

“Absolutely nothing, Director. I have the best interests of the country at heart, and I’ll be goddamned if I let some bunch of goose-stepping morons upset the applecart. You are free to do with the information as you please; I want no credit when your agents make the arrests. I think that, when you round up those Nazi stooges, your popularity with the President and the American public is going to rise even higher than before. Now, if you will please excuse me, Ms. Faulkner and I will take our leave as we have business that requires our attention elsewhere.”

Hoover nods, then his two visitors leave the office. When he’s alone, Hoover opens the file once again and begins to read in greater detail. The first two names mentioned are Herman W. Lang and Hartwig R. Kleiss; these are the men who tried to infiltrate Smith’s electronics research laboratory in Chicago (Lang tried to steal the proximity fuze and Kleiss tried to get his hands on the plans for Smith’s Gunfire Control System); the others are as follows:

Rekowski, Karl Franz
Viereck, Georg Sylvester
Kloss, Heinz
Lohr, Otto
Mosshack, Gustav
Duquesne, Fritz Joubert
Bante, Paul
Blank, Max
Brokhoff, Alfred E.
Clausing, Heinrich
Dold, Conradin Otto
Ebeling, Rudolf
Eichenlaub, Richard
Eilers, Heinrich Carl
Fehse, Paul
Heine, Edmund Carl
Jahnke, Felix
Kaercher, Gustav Wilhelm
Klein, Josef
Mezenen, Rene Emanuel
Roeder, Everett Minster
Stigler, Franz Joseph
Waalen, Leo
Wheeler-Hill, Axel

After reading the document at length, Hoover closes the file, picks up the office phone and has his secretary call in the FBI’s senior staff for a meeting.


Interlude
Date: 1934-1939
Location: NTL-0026

Kilkenny had continued his efforts – largely succeeding. Roosevelt’s New Deal had been largely re-directed. The Securities Act of 1933 had been expected, and the 1934 National Firearms Act had enacted 10-20-Life-Chair.

The next year, the National Labor Relations Act had been passed. The Kilkenny Institute for the Preservation of Freedom had managed to scupper the original Wagner Act, but had still managed to protect union organizing. But the jurisdictional strike, the secondary strike, secondary boycott, “common situs” picketing, the closed shop, the union shop, and political or solidarity strikes were all outlawed. Employers had the right to oppose unionization as well, but couldn’t fire those workers who sought to unionize. The NLRB was also required to seek an injunction against any unfair labor practice by a union or employer. Unions and employers were each required to give 120 days’ notice before carrying out a strike or other economic action related to negotiating a collective bargaining agreement. Strikes were also forbidden during the time a collective bargaining agreement was in force. The law also called for elections by secret ballot for unionization, but also said that an employer could agree to allow a union to represent workers upon getting 75% of the workforce to sign authorization cards.
While President Roosevelt had found the bill to be palatable, and he particularly liked the idea of being able to impose a 90-day cooling off period for strikes that could “endanger national security or create a national emergency,” Eleanor Roosevelt had been furious to see the original act gutted. The compromise bill had sailed through.
The Social Security Act had been next, and that had left the First Lady furious. The original proposal had been shot down, again after a report by KIPF. This one had made pointed comparisons to the schemes of one Charles Ponzi – and Roosevelt soon found himself looking for a way out. KIPF had provided one for the President. Workers were told to contribute two percent of their pre-tax earnings into a pension fund. A one-percent tax was imposed for the government to provide a pension guaranty fund. Employers would pay one percent to the private fund, and one percent to
the guaranty fund. Individuals could also place up to five percent of their income into a tax-free retirement/education/medical account.
Kilkenny had needed to torpedo Glass-Stegal to make the Pension Reform Act of 1935 work. He had, though, come up with a Fair Labor Standards Act that had mollified Eleanor Roosevelt somewhat. The bill provided for an eight-hour day, a 40-hour work week, set overtime pay at 150 percent of normal salary for the first ten hours a week of overtime (or for the first hour of a day beyond eight hours), then 175 percent for the next ten hours (or the second hour of a day beyond eight), and 200 percent for any after that. A minimum wage of 50 cents an hour was set, and it made it illegal to pay different rates based on sex, race, or age. The act also covered farm workers (including migrant and seasonal workers), and made it illegal to have children under 16 work dangerous jobs or past 7:00 PM. It also prohibited allowing children under 14 to work during the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM or beyond 7:00 PM.
On the international front, Brewster Aviation had managed to get the FA Buffalo into service around the world. The Army Air Corps also bought the plane, calling it the P-29. The Philippines, Poland, and China also were buying the planes as fast as they could roll off the assembly lines in Davao, Newark, New York City, and at Naval Air Station Johnsville.
Kilkenny hadn’t waited. The success of the P-29 enabled him to propose a merger with Curtiss-Wright, which included getting their designs, and then he had gobbled up North American Aviation. He soon introduced the P-36 (the OTL P-40B), which the Army Air Force began buying, while a four-engine bomber co-developed with Boeing became the B-17 (the OTL B-17E), with Brewster developing a “strategic reconnaissance” version called the RB-17 (a modified OTL YB-40 with cameras in the bomb bay). Kilkenny Industries had also worked with Lockheed to beat compressibility, and the P-38 was wowing a lot of people as well.
While the quantities were not what Kilkenny would have liked, he was getting a solid foundation. Brewster was going to introduce a bomber he called the Peacekeeper. His original timeline knew it as the B-36B. He also was unveiling a cargo version with a tail ramp called the Skylifter, and designing a long-range escort plane called the Mustang, with a strict rule of “not a pound for air-to-ground.”
The ship building continued apace, right up to December 12, 1937 and the Panay incident. KIPF had been outlining the potential threat and the steps needed. By January 12, 1938, the Pacific Defense Act was passed, which included the sale of a dozen destroyers to the Siamese Navy, as well as allowing them to purchase up to 180 FA “Buffalo” fighters and 120 SB2A dive bombers. More importantly, KSI now had contracts in hand to fully develop the Philippines, Guam, Wake, and Midway as military bases.
KIPF also had secured passage of the Refuge From Oppression Act, which aided in the escape of Jews from Nazi Germany, while the Kilkenny Armaments Firm had begun developing other weapons. While the .30 Kilkenny was not adopted, the M2 and M3 carbines were, as were the M1 rifle, M1 carbine, M1933 pistol, and the M1933 infantry machine gun.

Kilkenny was feeling satisfied. That said, he knew these preparations could not go unnoticed. He also noted he had been too busy to deal with Tamon Yamaguchi.

Ah, well, the Team B analysis had said taking him out might not have been a good idea. He’d just have to hope they were right.

All would change on September 1, 1939.

Date: September 1, 1939
Location: NTL-0026, Kilkenny Industries Headquarters, Fairfax, Virginia

The news of the Nazi invasion of Poland had not been a surprise, even as the bulletins crossed Kilkenny’s ticker tape. Other news stories filing across the wire showed that Nazi forces, while advancing, weren’t doing so well.

The FA Buffalos were proving themselves to be solid, and KSI’s training and advice to Poland meant the Nazis took heavier casualties. While most experts felt Poland would fall, it wasn’t going easily for Nazi Germany. The good news was that bought time for KSI to make arrangements to evacuate a lot of people from Poland. That list would include about two-thirds of those killed during the Katyn Forest massacre and over 135,000 Jews before Poland was forced to surrender on November 13, 1939. The Nazis had lost 29,770 men killed, 47,339 wounded, and 7,200 missing.

The Navy’s acquisition of the F2A (OTL’s FM-2 Wildcat) had meant that there were over 400 spare FA airframes. Kilkenny Aviation had re-manufactured the airframes, and on September 4, 1939, David Kilkenny met with the British Ambassador.

He would depart with an agreement to sell 400 airframes to the Royal Air Force for one pound sterling each, as well as licenses for the Rolls Royce Merlin engine and any engine designs from Frank Whittle and the agreement of the British to allow Jewish refugees to settle in Palestine from Europe. Among the 450,000 that would be extracted from Europe and sent to Palestine before Germany declared war on the United States would be the family of a man who made his living selling pectin in Amsterdam after having left Germany. Another 70,000 would make it to the United States as the rapidly expanding Kilkenny conglomerate sought to hire workers.

Otto Frank arrived at the Fairfax headquarters of Kilkenny Industries for his first day of work on December 1, 1939 to serve as a senior accountant, with plans for him to eventually take over a production facility for the P-36 being set up in Tel Aviv.

The next day, in Fairfax, there would be a pivotal meeting.

First Lieutenant Curtis LeMay had been tasked by the Army Air Force to review the Kilkenny Industries plants and designs. He arrived right on time, and after being greeted, took a seat.

“Mr. Kilkenny, I appreciate you meeting with me,” he said.

“You are quite welcome. If anything, I appreciate you meeting with me. Events in Europe and China are heading down a track that will eventually involve this country. You have a reputation for high standards, and not mincing words. If there are shortcomings at any facility or in a design, I would like to know,” Kilkenny said.

“Your quality control is highly commendable,” LeMay said. “I find no cause for complaint there. However, the same cannot be said for some of the designs.”

“Where shall we start?” Kilkenny asked.

“The RB-17.”

That caught Kilkenny by surprise.

“That is a rather unwelcome surprise, Lieutenant. Tell me what you find wrong, and I will see if any shortcomings can be fixed.”


Last edited by Garrity on Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:34 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:32 pm
Posts: 6299
Where are today's LeMays?

_________________
Faugh a Ballagh


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
jemhouston wrote:
Where are today's LeMays?

The current SecDef seems to be the closest in terms of professionalism...


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:24 pm
Posts: 2726
Glad to see you back, Garrity!

:)

OK, folks... what do you think St. Curtis's complaints about the RB-17 could be... and are they valid? (St. Curtis, after all, was human - and in OTL did run with George Wallace...)

_________________
Pointy-Haired Boss: Is experience exactly the same as pessimism?
Dilbert: Experience is much worse

Dilbert
October 20, 2016


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:49 pm 
Offline
Mockingbird

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:29 am
Posts: 3907
Location: BB-16, BB-62
Unless St. Petersburg got renamed Stalingrad rather than Leningrad, there's no way Finland is going to be able to supply anything to Stalingrad.....

Belushi TD


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
I had the two cities confused. Leningrad is the one that the Finns will be helping to supply.

The necessary edits have been made.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
Action in the Philippines
Date: January 25th, 1942
Location; the Philippine Islands
Time: various

After General Douglas Macarthur was recalled to Washignton, D.C for reassignment, General Jonathan Wainwright was appointed as commanding officer of the Department of the Phillipines. Immediately after assuming his new post, General Wainwright ordered a thorough review of the Phillipine Islands’ defense posture. As part of the review, Wainwright conferred with his top commanders as well as various officials of the Philippine Government (including President Manuel Quezon).

General Wainwright knew as well as anyone that war with Japan was inevitable; based on the results of the defense review, Wainwright’s troops made ready to meet an expected Japanese invasion. His foresight proved to be of immense tactical and strategic value when the Japanese came ashore on December 8th, December 10th and December 12th, 1941; the main attack took place between December 22nd - December 23rd, when 43,000 men in the IJA’s 48th Division (along with one regiment of the 16th Division, 30 medium tanks and 60 light tanks) came ashore at three different points on the shore of Lingayen Gulf under support by naval gunfire.

Wainwright decided that the best way to effectively employ those assets he had was to fight the Japanese before, during and after the invasion. The invasion task force was struck repeatedly by air attacks from P-38 fighters and B-17 bombers, and from the submarines assigned to Admiral Thomas C. Hart’s Asiatic Fleet. Unfortunately, Japanese airstrikes had caused heavy damage to the U.S Navy Base at Cavite on December 10th, so almost all of the Asiatic Fleet’s surface assets had been withdrawn except for three squadrons of PT boats; these perfomed valiant service.

Once the Japanese started to come ashore in strength, the troops of the Department of the Phillipines started hitting them on the beaches; then, they shifted to a fluid defense-in-depth, anchored by such strongpoints as Fort Mills (on Corregidor), Fort Drum, Fort Hughes and Fort Frank (at the entrance to Manila Bay) and Fort Wint (at the entrance to Subic Bay). Wainwright’s men only accepted battle when it was to their advantage; they had an advantage in that the IJN’s airpower was severely limited by the damage inflicted on the six carriers of the Kido Butai task force by Mr. Smith’s submarine Nautilus. As the six carriers are (or were) the centerpiece of Japanese naval strategy in the Pacific, the highest priority was assigned to getting the ships back to port and into drydock so repairs can be made. Even the most optimistic estimates don’t have the carriers returning to duty before June, 1942.
Still, the officers at the IJN’s General Staff Headquarters in Tokyo had their orders; which they were honor-bound to carry out to the best of their ability.

Back in the Phillipines, General Wainwright’s policy of Defense-in-Depth is proving to be extremely costly to the Japanese in terms of manpower and materiel. In some cases, it is taking more than twice as long to achive their strategic objectives (with casualty rates that are at least 50% above and beyond pre-war staff estimates. Still it is only a matter of time before Japanese numerical superiority begins to have a telling effect. In and around Manila Bay, the centerpiece of the U.S Army’s fixed defenses is Fort Drum. Nowhere is American resistance to the initial Japanese attacks fiercer or more determined than here. Fort Drum is an immensely-strong island fortification located at the mouth of Manila Bay. Due to its resemblance to a large warship, Fort Drum was refferred to as the ‘Concrete Battleship’. This resemblance was more than skin-deep, as Fort Drum has had two new turrets installed; each mounting three 16"/45 naval guns. These replaced the older turrets, each armed with a pair of Model 1909 14" guns. The fort is built of steel-reinforced concrete, with exterior walls measuring 36' thick and a reinforced roof measuring 20' thick. As part of the modifications done by SmithCorp engineers, Fort Drum’s protection was further enhanced by the addition of 18" of Class B armor plate on the flanks and 10" on the roof.

Elsewhere in the Phillipine Islands, the services of Decisive Outcomes (Mr. Smith’s private military contractor) had previously been engaged to to provide additional training to the Phillipine Army and constabulary. SmithCorp also made large sales of M-3 submachineguns and M-2 carbines, plus other light & heavy weapons to the Philippine Government; this materiel included Smith light & medium machineguns, War Hammer .50-caliber rifles, DRL-120 disposable rocket launchers, M-1 grenade launchers and Claymore mines. DO’s training regimen and the new hardware has provided a welcome boost to the Phillipines Army; the DRL-120 has found particular favor with Philippine troops because of its ability to smash Type 95 Ha-Gō light and Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tanks as easily as an egg thrown against a brick wall.

At other locations in the Pacific, the lack of Japanese naval air support is enabling such places like Rabaul on the Island of New Britain (where the Japanese attempt to take the port began two days ago on January 23rd) to remain in the hands of Australian and New Zealand troops assigned to defend them. What Japanese air support there is comes in the form of strikes by bombers and fighters based elsewhere in the area. Though of great importance to the Japanese military effort, these attacks aren’t as tacticaly flexible as carrier-based aircraft.

Target Selection
Date: January 27th, 1942
Location: Lindbergh-Goddard Aerospace, Alamogordo, New Mexico
Time: 10:00 AM local time

Back in the United States, planning and training for a retaliatory strike against Japan after its attack on Peral Harbor is well in hand. The overall commander of the project is Lt Colonel James Doolittle, who is operating with the advice, assistance and material support from Lindberg-Goddard Aerospace. The training is taking place at the main LGA facility in New Mexico, while the naval component is being staged out of San Diego; this is composed of the two supercarriers USS Essex and USS Hornet, three heavy cruisers (USS Salt Lake City, USS Northampton & USS Vincennes), one light Cruiser (USS Nashville), eight destroyers (USS Balch, USS Fanning,USS Benham, USS Ellet, USS Gwin, USS Meredith, USS Grayson & USS Monssen) and two fleet oilers (USS (Cimarron & USS Sabine). The weapons to be used in the attack on Japan have been produced by Mr. Smith’s Military Armaments Corporation (MAC) have been shipped to San Diego and are waiting to be loaded aboard the carriers.

In a meeting which take splace between Colonel Doolittle, his senior staff and executives of Lindbergh-Goddard Aerospace, the idea of target selection comes up. Doolittle says “gentlemen, the mission plan is to do as much damage as possible to the Japanese while expending as little effort as necessary. The weaponry produced by Military Armaments Corporation is unlike anything I have ever seen before, and I am quite certain that it will get the job done. Now, it falls to us to decide which targets are going to get hit.” Harold James of LGA replies “Colonel, hitting Tokyo is going to send a powerful message to the Japanese people that attacking Peral Harbor was a really bad idea. With this in mind, my staff has prepared a target list for your consideration and approval. The main consideration in chosing the targets was how much damage could be done to the Japanese war effort when they get blown to hell & gone”.

Colonel Doolittle thinks for a moment, then says “go ahead, Mr. James; I’m listening.”

“Thank you, sir. As I already mentioned, Tokyo is the main target; other cities to be struck are Yokosuka, Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka. Certain installations in Tokyo will receive special attention; The first of these is the city’s port, which will be said ‘Hello’ to by five Combat Talon aircraft (each carrying two Massive Ordnance Air Burst bombs). Next, you’ll pull the plug on Tokyo’s electric power grid by having one aircraft drop blackout bombs (plus delay-fuzed cluster munitions to hinder repair crews). Of the eight aircraft assigned to do Tokyo, the remaining two will be loaded with thermobaric bombs and standard cluster munitions. These two aircraft will drop part of their payload on the Kantei Buildng, which is the official residence of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō. It is of importance to know that the Diet Building (where Japan’s legislature meets) is very near the Kantei Building, so the strike will be able to get them both at the same time. There is also the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese Army in Ichigaya (located in the Shinjuku Ward of Tokyo). Colonel, I wish to emphasize that the Imperial Palace (residence of Emperor Hirohito) is off limits. To us Hirohito is just another man, but to the Japanese people, he’s a living god. If he were to be killed in the raid, it would have dsastrous consequences...”

“What might those be, Mr. James?”

“Well sir, how would you like to be an American soldier or pilot who gets captured after the Emperor got blown to hell in a bombing raid? To say that your continued existance would be nasty, brutish and very short would be a decided understatement.”

“I understand. What of the four cities that you mentioned previously?”

“Yokosuka, Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka will be assigned two aircraft each. One plane will be loaded with a combination of thermobaric bombs and cluster munitions, while the other will carry blackoutr bombs. The exception are the aircraft assigned to Yokosuka; one of these will carry a pair of Massiave Ordnance Air Burst bombs, while the other will have blackout bombs and a mix of thermobarics and cluster munitions. You see, Yokosuka houses a major Japanese naval base and I can’t imagine a better way to do the Imperial Japanese Navy a bad turn than to bomb the location where two of the carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor were built.”

“How about after the raids are carried out, what then?”

“Colonel, my employer Mr. Smith has extensive contacts with the government of Chiang Kai-Shek. Once the raids on the several cities are completed, your aircraft will make for airfields in China. From here, they will be refueled so that you and your pilots can exit the theater of operations and begin your return to the United States.”

Colonel Doolittle and his officers engage in furhter discussions as they examine the planjing papers, maps and photographs provided by Mr. James. Once the meeting concludes, Mr. James sends a priority message to Mr. Smith informing him of what went on.

Serving the enemy a bad turn
Date: January 25th, 1942
Location: Mr. Smith’s office, the Empire State Building
Time: noon

After hearing back from Mr. James at LGA in New Mexico, Mr. Smith places a call to Otis Needleman in Chicago. The customary pleasantries are exchanged, and Mr. Smith says “Otis, my main man; I’ve got some good news for you. I just got a call from Harry James out in New Mexico, and he tells me that Colonel Doolittle and his men are nearing the end of their training. So, it seems that the raid on Tokyo will take place, just as it did in the history we came from.”

“That’s certainly good news, boss-man. If anything, that bastard Tojo and his crew deserve far worse.”

“Indeed. When the time comes, I want to you send word to Captain Fletcher aboard the Nautilus. He and his command will be supporting the Doolittle Raid by proceeding in advance of the two carriers and seeing that there are no Japanese vessels in the area. If you’ll recall, the original Doolittle raid was forced to launch some 200 miles father out from Japan than planned because the task force had been sighted by the Japanese patrol boat No. 23 Nittō Maru. Before being sunk by naval gunfire, the officer in command of the Nittō Maru managed to send a radio message to Japan warning of an incoming attack; This will not, repeat NOT happen this time.”

“Understood, boss. Do you have any additonal instructions for Captain Fletcher?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. As soon as the bombs start falling in Tokyo and elsewhere, he is to target a ceryain pair of Japanese industrial installations with his cruise missiles; call it adding insult to injury, so to speak...”

“I like the way you think, Jim. What’s on the hit parade?”

“First up is the Shōwa Steel Works, located in the city of Anshan in Liaoning Province, Manchukuo. This installation is one of the biggest steel mills in the world outside of the United States, and is a vital source of raw material for the Japanese war effort.”

“Copy that, boss. How about the second target?”

“This one is the Yawata Steel Works in the city of Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. This mill produces 24% of Japan’s output of rolled steel, and was judged to be of such importance in our original history that it was the primary target for the ‘Fat Man’ atomic bomb in 1945. It was only the presence of heavy cloud cover that caused Major Charles Sweeney to divert his aircraft ‘Bockscar’ to Nagasaki, the secondary target. Captain Fletcher may use his own discretion on how to engage and destroy these targets.”

“Understood.”

Repair and Recovery
Date: January 28th, 1942
Location: Pearl Harbor
Time: various

Almost as soon as the bombs and torpedoes stopped falling, efforts began to repair and recover those ships sunk or damaged in the attack. Captain Homer Wallin was appointed as fleet salvage officer, with Cmdr James Steele as his executive officer. Together, these men and their staff had the herculean task of returning the damaged ships to duty. In the seven weeks since December 7th, Captain Wallin and Cmdr Steele surveyed the damaged ships and quickly determined that only the target ship USS Utah and the destroyers USS Cassin and USS Downes were total losses. Aboard these three ships, efforts were devoted towards recovery of the bodies of fallen sailors. The wreck of USS Utah will lay where she sank (with all usable equipment to be removed and re-used), while those of USS Cassin and USS Downes will be salvaged and removed to free up space in Dry Dock #1.

The battleship USS Nevada was the first vessel to be salvaged. During the attack, she had managed to get under way, but her commanding officer ordered that she get beached so that the main channel at Pearl Harbor wouldn’t get blocked if she sank. The ship was re-floated and temporary repairs made, with the objective being to sail her to the San Diego Navy Yard and make full repairs. Efforts to right the light cruiser USS Helena and the minelayer USS Ogalala are under way. To accomplish this task, a number of large winches were constructed on shore and cables form these weer run out to the wrecked ships. The ships were slowly and carefully pulled upright, then temporary repairs made to re-establish watertight integrity. Afterwards, the ships were towed to one of Pearl Harbor’s drydocks so more extensive repairs can be made.

Of all the ships damaged at Pearl Harbor, USS California, USS West Virginia and USS Oklahoma are the most heavily-damaged. USS California sank after her crew was ordered to abandon ship, while USS Oklahoma settled to the bottom but remained upright. USS California went down with a 30-degree list to port and is in the process of being winched upright. Aboard USS Oklahoma and USS West Virginia, teams of Navy and civilian divers are patching the hulls so they can be raised and repaired. The battleships USS Tennessee, USS Maryland and USS Pennsylvania are still afloat and repairs are ongoing.

Aside from the ships, the most critical damage taken at Pearl Harbor was to the base’s fuel storage. The oil tanks east of CINCPAC Headquarters were hit by a string of 132-lb bombs, while the tanks at Hickam Field and those near the anchorage of USS Pennsylvania were similarly hit. At first, it was thought that the tank farms were a total loss. After the fires were put out, it was discovered that losses were actually in the neighborhood of 75%. The first order of business was to clear the wreckage and clean up the spilled oil; then, new tanks will be constructed. To aid in the reconstruction efforts, Mr. Smith uses a portion of his West Coast merchant fleet to make deliveries of rolled steel plate and other necessary materiel. Even so, Pearl Harbor’s fuel storage capacity won’t be fully restored for another five months.

A Meeting of the Minds
Date: February 5th, 1942
Location: Mr. Smith’s office, Empire State Building
Time: 11:00 AM

As part of Mr. Smith’s policy of doing whatever he can to increase the defense posture of the United States, he places a call to Al Capone in Las Vegas; as with other such communications, the call is my via a scrambler phone so that there is no chance of the Call getting intercepted. The call goes through and Mr. Smith says “good morning, Mr. Capone. I trust that all goes well with you and yours of late…”

“It sure is, Smith. Ever since the country went to war, there has been a huge increase in traffic coming through Las Vegas on its way to southern California and points north. Of course, the revenue at my operations here in Vegas has similarly increased. To what do I ow the pleasure of your call today?”

“Sir, I have a favor to ask you in your capacity as current chairman of the National Commission.”

“Of course. After all that you have done for me, it would be my pleasure. What do you have in mind?”

“Mr. Capone, I would be greatly obliged if you were to arrange a sitdown for me with the heads of the Five Families of New York & New Jersey.”

“I see. What do you want to ask them?”

“It’s very simple, sir. The nation that we love has fallen under attack, with a mighty sucker-punch that came flying in from somewhere in the back. It behooves me to do as much as possible to aid the war effort. Therefore, I intend to ask the family heads to use their influence with the Longshoremen’s Union locals all up and down the East Coast to see that there are no labor actions of any kind for the duration of the present war. If there happens to be an issue, the Union’s membership-at-large can take it up with their shop stewards and the stewards in turn will take it up with management. If the issue is such that it can’t be resolved informally, then both sides will come before an impartial panel for arbitration.”

“I see, Smith; that sounds reasonable to me. How about places like the Gulf Coast, California nd elsewhere?”

“That’s where you come in, sir. The San Francisco and Los Angeles families are allied with the Chicago Outfit and they will follow your lead. All that you’ll need to do is to give them a call and say that Mr. Smith needs a favor and outline to them what I have in mind. Of course when it comes time for the United States to head over to Italy and punch Italo Balbo’s goons right in the teeth, having contacts already on the ground will be of immense value in planning the campaign. As for New Orleans, I am aware that your history with Sam Carollo isn’t all that great, so I’ll be prevailing on Mr. Costello to use his influence with Carollo to see that things go smoothly.”

“Alright, Smith. It will take a few days for the sitdown to be arranged. While this is going on, I’ll call Jack Dragna in Los Angeles and Francesco Lanza in San Francisco. After that, everything will be good to go. About that rotten bastard Carollo, however you want to handle him is up to you. I still haven’t forgotten how he and his paid cops rolled out the unwelcome mat for me and my boys back in 1929.”

“Thank you, Mr. Capone. Now that we’ve taken care of business, I’m pleased to inform you that your son Albert is doing very well at Union State Private Bank. In fact, my manager Mortimer recently promoted him to the position of Assistant Chief Cashier and recommended him for a substantial bonus; I’ve accepted the recommendation and Albert will be getting a nice fat envelope next payday.”

“Thanks for letting me know, Smith. Mae will be delighted to hear that.”

The call ends with the usual exchange of pleasantries and Mr. Smith turns his attention towards other business.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:32 pm
Posts: 6299
Al Capone should ask Mr. Smith to make sure his son get a good position in the Army instead of taking pot luck when he's drafted.

_________________
Faugh a Ballagh


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 606
jemhouston wrote:
Al Capone should ask Mr. Smith to make sure his son get a good position in the Army instead of taking pot luck when he's drafted.

Capone won't have to ask; Smith will make sure of it...


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 466 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 20, 21, 22, 23, 24  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group